The Premier League has housed some of the world’s deadliest finishers
This fearsome eleven have won 18 Golden Boots between them
Two stonewall legends share the top spot
They are the headline-makers who come alive inside the area.
With a single shot from their boot, they have the power to change the Premier League outright odds at a stroke while turning our hopes to mush or our dreams into reality.
With goals as their currency, a lethal centre-forward can be the difference between what-ifs and glory so it stands to reason that the actual currency they go for is far greater than for any other player.
These sharp-shooters, though. These sharp-shooters were priceless.
10) Luis Suarez
When the Uruguayan shoulder-nibbler signed for Liverpool in 2011 his reputation flew in separately with its own baggage.
Here was a player who found trouble with unerring ease and sure enough controversy blighted a stint in England that was never less than interesting.
Look past the incidents however, and what we’re left with is an incendiary talent who could terrorise an entire back-line single-handedly.
His pace was frightening. His technique was off-the-scale. His ability to score jaw-dropping goals on a regular basis meant that he left for Barcelona in 2014 with a clean sweep of individual merits including a European Golden Shoe.
9) Dennis Bergkamp
There are forwards on this list it was impossible to omit due to the sheer number of goals they scored. The non-flying Dutchman is not one of them.
Eighty-seven goals in 315 appearances for Arsenal is a respectable haul but it’s hardly prolific, amounting all told to a strike every 330 minutes. There are no doubt forwards with a tenth of Bergkamp’s rare ability who can better that.
Goals though were not his main purpose: that’s what Ian Wright was for. Instead, the player named after the great Denis Law was an artist, a creator of beautiful things.
Plugged into football’s matrix, the Amsterdammer saw patterns of play that were hidden from mere mortals and had the gifts to capitalise.
8) Andy Cole
A Golden Boot winner with Newcastle and the golden boy of the St James Park faithful, Cole’s record-breaking switch to Manchester United in 1995 sent shockwaves through the game.
Imagine Mo Salah today moving to Manchester City for £150m. That’s close enough.
Once at Old Trafford and once the storm had died down, the forward who was prematurely rejected by Arsenal as a teen simply continued where he left off, scoring a hatful of goals, even bagging five in one game just a few months into his United tenure.
A highly productive partnership with Dwight Yorke meanwhile played a huge role in the Reds ascendancy.
With our latest Premier League predictions not expected to be overly kind to United, what they wouldn’t give to have this deadly duo back in tandem and at their peak.
7) Harry Kane
One of only two forwards on this honours roll still playing, who knows what records might be smashed, and personal achievements attained, by the time the Walthamstow goal-machine hangs up his spurs.
England’s record goal-scorer? That’s perfectly feasible. The Premier League’s deadliest ever front-man? Kane will have to go some to beat Alan Shearer but second-best would still be a colossal feat.
On three occasions, Tottenham’s legend-in-the-making has won the Golden Boot, even topping the assist chart in 2020/21 to illustrate that he is infinitely more than a finisher of chances.
6) Didier Drogba
Drogba’s overall goal-tally in the English top-flight may lag behind those of Fowler or Owen, Van Persie or Vardy; strikers who can consider themselves unlucky not to have made the grade here.
Yet the Ivorian’s importance to four title-winning campaigns for Chelsea cannot, and should not, be easily dismissed, his stylish and empassioned marauding constantly proving a key factor in the Blues’ successes.
From his fighting spirit, to this immaculate touch, to his eye for goal, Drogba was one of the most complete centre-forwards to have ever graced a Premier League pitch.
5) Mo Salah
The Premier League Player of the Year odds were mighty short on the Egyptian winning this season as early as the springtime, a result that eventually came to pass.
That’s because by March, the Liverpool ace had already scored 20 league goals and was well on his way to securing a third Golden Boot merit, testimony once again to Salah’s astonishing prolificacy.
It is a sustained strike-rate made all-the-more impressive by his starting position, charged by Jurgen Klopp to torment the opposing full-back and drift in from out wide.
In times past the two-time African Footballer of the Year would be considered a winger. Now, he’s everything and more to Liverpool’s era of excellence.
4) Eric Cantona
What is there left to say about ‘King Eric’? Very little, if truth be told.
Perhaps then, it’s more pertinent to remind ourselves of some stats and facts that have become submerged by the folklore that surrounds this unique individual.
Stats such as his strike-rate at Old Trafford that is just shy of one in two. That’s some going for a player who so often was the provider, performing his alchemy from deep.
Cantona was also the first player to bag a hat-trick in the newly conceived Premier League.
Yes, he gave us unforgettable moments and yes, he wore his collars up. But the French genius was also a striker of genuine substance and threat.
3) Wayne Rooney
Only Alan Shearer tops the Manchester United megastar in the Premier League goal-scoring stakes. Only Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas have ever bettered him for assists.
That raw and fearless kid, who curled a beauty past David Seaman, aged just 16 to ignite Goodison Park, sure turned into a special player.
And a generational one, too. Voted England’s greatest ever player in a 2022 poll, Rooney’s achievements in a club jersey surpass even his record-breaking feats with the Three Lions on his barrelled chest.
On five occasions he was United’s leading scorer in seasons that saw the Reds stretch out their dominance well into the 21st century.
2) Sergio Aguero
The lethal Argentine boasts the best goals-per-minute ratio of them all, remarkably netting every 106 minutes across a trophy-laden decade at Manchester City.
What’s more, no-one else comes close in what can reasonably be considered the purest measure of a forward’s consistency and accuracy in front of goal.
That consistency is born out by five consecutive campaigns of notching 20+ top-flight strikes while against Newcastle in 2015 the arch-poacher converted five in a single game.
That alone is impressive. Then you acknowledge that ‘Kun’ was subbed just past the hour mark.
It should surely matter too that City’s all-time record goal-grabber was responsible for the most famous moment in the competition’s history.
1) Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer
Granted, it’s an easy ‘out’ to place this pair side-by-side on the highest pedestal but there is a point to be made so bear with us.
Shearer was the archetypal ‘number nine’, the like and quality of which we will never again see. He led the line better than anyone. He hit the target more than anyone, before or since. He was, by every conceivable metric, a goal-scoring force of nature.
Henry meanwhile was the most pre-eminent modern attacker we’ve been privileged enough to witness in the Premier League.
Blessed with searing pace and a bountiful supply of continental elan he was as likely to be found out wide as exhibiting his genius in the box.
Together they were Premier League Golden Boot winners on seven occasions. Together, they scored 435 top-flight goals. You try separating these phenomenal legends who truly excelled at the same craft but via very different means.
Ultimately, neither deserve the runner-up as both were second to none.